So this weekend is Parents' Weekend at the Queenager's university. That's right. It's an American thing and it's huge. Most colleges and universities have them, although sometimes they're called "Family Weekends. They will lay on a variety of events to entertain us, including big bands playing at night and activities for younger siblings too. And of course, we get to see what all that money is doing.
If you look on many US college web sites, there's a separate page for Parents of students. Most colleges are big into communicating with the parents. As soon as your kid accepts the offer, the e-mail start rolling in. Although I have no doubt the colleges want you to know what you're paying for, in most cases what they really want is a financial donation. Fair enough - someone's got to pay the bills.
Here's an example of one parent page -
"We understand the vital role parents play in the college experience, and we want to partner with you to ensure your student's success at ----. In addition to communicating your needs and concerns to University administration, we are here to educate you about student development and appropriate ways to help your college student become an independent and involved citizen."
And another -
"Welcome to the- State University Family and the Office of Parent Services. College is a very stressful time in the life of a student, but through the combined effort of family and university, this endeavor can be very successful."
Yeah, you don't just put them on a plane or train any more.
Last year we all went, but flights plus three nights in a hotel can get a little expensive, plus, the novelty probably wears off for 17 and 9 year old boys. So this year it's just me, the Queenager ......and grandma. Oh yes, she's flying over from England and we're going to do a long weekend of stalking the student!
Will report back!